Spiders

I thought today was a good day! I managed to chair a meeting with the big bosses at work with minimal panic attacks, I didn’t lose my head when I was running late and I came home exhausted but smiling!

Until I had a bath!! I bathed with a spider!!! Now I’m sat crying, shaking, hyperventilating and freaking out that he may have had spider buddies swimming about in there. 

I need a shower now …

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Sister-in-law

I can’t even be bothered to justify this girl with a well structured post.

Here is a list of almost everything she has done that has upset me

  • My boyfriends parents go on a night away while we (boyfriend, me, sister in law -we shall refer to her as She – and the brother) are all still living at home. They say invite brother and She round for drinks and we can all sleep in the house. So we do. Boyfriends parents come home the next day (as we were expecting) and are excited to see the boyfriend and me. She comes storming downstairs and doesn’t say thank you for letting her stay in the house, she doesn’t say nice to meet you… She gives them a bollocking for waking her up and says nothing nice! So a week or so later I tell She that what She said and her attitude really upset my boyfriends mum. She responds simply with ‘so what, she’s nothing to me.’
  • Boyfriend is going for a final interview to join the police and my brother (because he is a prick) flies off on one the morning of the interview and says he cannot be associated with boyfriend any more because police are scum and untrustworthy. She backs brother up and spends the rest of the day sending insulting messages in a group chat between the 4 of us. Boyfriends mood was ruined, boyfriend didn’t get the job (may or may not be as a direct result but I am blaming them anyway).
  • We have mutual friends H and M, we met them at brother and She’s wedding preparations because H and me were bridesmaids and boyfriend and M were groomsmen. We hit it off, H and M are some of the best people I have ever met and am now proud to say are my closest friends. She is not happy about this. Boyfriend and me go to H and M’s for a quiet drink and a movie night in. Brother and She finds out and goes mental, I get abusive messages because we haven’t involved them and told that we are not allowed to be hanging out with H and M anyway because they are Shes friends and not ours!
  • H has a baby shower, She didn’t get an invite because She has upset everyone in attendance at least once. She finds out the shower is happening because H’s mother in law (M’s mum) posts on Facebook that she can’t wait for the baby shower. She waits till the morning of the shower and sends everyone that is going a message demanding an explanation as to why she isn’t invited. She and brother also go to my dad  and say I’m out of line because I’m at this shower and She isn’t. (She hasn’t made any effort with H since the wedding, hasn’t even congratulated H and M on their baby announcement or taken anytime to just chat with them) This was well over 2 month ago and I still haven’t heard from She or brother, they have decided not to talk to me and are giving me the silent treatment… I’d like to point out they are both in their 30s and still act like children.
  • I have a friend who is partially sited, I invite her out for a girly night out bowling. I invite She just so I don’t have to deal with the arguments and keep the parents happy. She tells my partially sited friend that because she ‘is blind’ she is ‘not allowed to bowl with us’ and makes her sit in the bar until we are done despite everyone telling her to ignore She, enough damage was done that my friend didn’t feel comfortable enough to join in.
  • I have a friend who is from Poland and now lives here in the UK. The only thing She has ever said to my polish friend is ‘you shouldn’t even be in this country.’ This was said under the breath so no one else heard, my polish friends night out with the girls was ruined by this one sentence.

Bruises

I’ve started this exact post quite a few times but given up. I don’t know how to start, I don’t know where to start. I suppose I’ll start by telling you he’s my best friend… but he wasn’t once upon a time.

I don’t know much about my dads childhood it’s not really talked about, all I know is Grandma and Granddad had grown to hate each other but stayed together for the sake of Dad and my Aunt until they had flown the nest. What I do know about my dads past is he was a biker before he was even old enough to ride. He also joined the army, he was part of the Royal Military Police  and spent quite some time in Ireland and that is about all I know about that.

Though I do know that in his time in his biker gang he saw a lot of his ‘brothers’ die from fatal road traffic incidents. Now I can’t comment too much on this because I have watched far too much Sons of Anarchy and so my imagination goes a little bit crazy… dad doesn’t talk too much about his time with his biker gang. Dad met my Godfather in this club and my mums childhood best friend. Both of which I’m sure would tell me anything I wanted to know if I asked… but I am not sure I want to know.

Anyway, as an adult I learnt of such things as PTSD and depression and the many tablets that were hidden in the top cupboard in my childhood home, now I know better I can point to my dad and say that is it, that is why he was an unstable dad.  (I hate typing this, I hate saying my dad was anything but perfect. My dad is now the best dad anyone could ask for, he is now my best friend and even in those dark days he had his days where he shone and taught me so much and loved me unconditionally.)

I’ve blocked out a lot of the bruises and how I got them, I prefer it that way anyway, but I do remember the shouting, the screaming and at the end of it all the crying all on my own. My dad was a terrifying man. I remember the way he used to check our bedrooms were tidy and clean, He’d make us stand in the middle whilst he would check every nook and cranny. If he found anything not quite perfect he’d rip it all out and throw it at your feet, heaven forbid he broke anything in the process because that would be our fault too and would result in further punishment. The one bedroom cleaning I remember the most was this;

We weren’t a particularly well off family, furniture was cheap or second hand. Furniture broke quite easily! I had a shelving unit that had a flimsy back held on with one or two nails and the nails had given up holding the back in place, the back fell off and I tried so hard to hide this fact, but with dads army regimented bedroom checks he found it clinging on for dear life. He slammed my back against the wall and shouted about having no respect, he proceeded to repeatedly hit me in the face so my skull bounced off of the wall, his palm flat against my nose pushing my head back with ever blow telling me how the unit had broken because I had been ‘ramming things in like this’. All I could think was ‘he’s trying to kill me.’ I can’t remember what made him stop, or if mum was there. All I remember is the pain and the loneliness I felt as he left me and went to go and treat my brother even worse.

My brother got it worse because he always brought home bad school reports, got in to regular fights and never kept his bedroom clean. There was a few times my mum had to ring the school to say he couldn’t come in due to a stomach upset… his stomach was never upset, he was just heavily bruised.

My mum didn’t get away with it lightly either, she’d often be found crying after dad had punched a hole in a door and left the house after arguing about money, or parenting, or how mums clothes were horrible, or how this wasn’t right, that wasn’t perfect so on and so forth. Brother and me trying our best to make mum stop crying despite being too young to understand.

Dad didn’t like us crying either or showing weakness. I regularly came home from school sucking it up and putting on a brave face despite whatever the bullies had done that day. Often though whatever the bullies were doing was too much to not come home and crash. I’d cry, dad would ask why, dad would find a way to make it all my fault anyway… I must be doing something for the bullies to be treating me this way, I must have been in the wrong.

In all the beatings, all the shouting and all the discipline I only remember one apology from dad. That’s the day mum walked out of the house, she wasn’t gone long but it was long enough.  Dad shouted me from my room (I think I was 6) and of course out of fear you never ignore that shout. I walked downstairs with legs like jelly and feet like lead only to find my dad sat in the corner with an empty glass just finishing his cigarette. He said ‘come here’ so I went and stood by his feet only for him to scoop me up in his arms and on to his lap to cry with me and repeatedly say sorry. That cigarette and whisky breath was the most comforting thing I had smelt in years, I thought this was going to be it, no more. I was wrong but I clung on to that memory as a reminder that dad was hurting too.

Brother took it all out on me, he’d hit me or strangle me telling me it was my fault dad was like this. Brother wasn’t very nice and I still haven’t forgiven him despite all the times we played nicely as children and all the times as adults we have hung out. Truth be told I hate him but I do nice things with him to make mum and dad happy. I’d write him off completely if I could.

Once in the middle of the night at a VERY young age I needed a wee but I was too afraid. The bathroom was downstairs and so was dad, I had gone in to my brothers room to ask if he would come downstairs with me. Only for him to punch me hard for waking him up. I cried and ended up wetting myself alone and ashamed in my bedroom and trying to hide it. This happened too often and eventually the smell of my carpet became an issue. Dad shouted, mum sourced a replacement carpet that wouldn’t cost anything. It took 2 carpets for me to break the habit.

Once early in the morning I’d woken up unable to draw in a breath, I couldn’t get any air in and again I was too afraid to bother dad who was still asleep. So I went downstairs and tried to get words out to tell my brother what was happening. He got annoyed that I was awake early and punched me so hard in the back of the head I momentarily blacked out. The crying and the shock of the pain must have helped me draw in breath, I went back to my room and cried alone until I fell back to sleep and woke to my mum unwrapping the blankets from me telling me I had to wake up to go to school. I think I was 8. I didn’t tell her anything.

Once I was ill with stomach cramps whilst mum and dad were on holiday, I was curled up on the chair downstairs sleeping… I hadn’t heard the post come through the door, but I heard my brother come downstairs and burst into the room. He repeatedly hit me saying I ‘wasn’t that ill’ and I could pick up the post. He hit me until I fell off the chair, he hit me until I got up to pick up the post.

I haven’t told my parents any of this about my brother. I don’t think I ever will.

Things got better with dad after the night my mum had to call the police. Dad had my brother by the throat and my mum was powerless. I don’t know the full story of that night I had been left at home (I was 16) and remember waking up to the sound of talking downstairs. My brother told me the next day that mum and dad had started arguing cause dad was drunk, brother intervened to protect mum and ended up with dad’s hands around his throat. 

Something clicked with my dad after that, he disappeared for a couple of nights (no the police didn’t lock him up, brother and mum didn’t want to press charges so nothing else came of that night) leaving me and mum worrying and brother not caring at all. He came home eventually and confessed to me where he’d been. He had been driving, he had gone to fight his demons on his own, he had gone to kill himself. He went to a friend’s of both my parents first and she helped him, she convinced him it was time to seek real help, not time to end it all. He’s been my best friend since. 

As for my brother … He no longer hurts me physically and as of 2 weeks ago I no longer give him chance to hurt me mentally. 

 

 

Sex

Sex is something I could quite happily live without. I don’t find joy or pleasure in it and never have.

I’ve tried a few one night stands and even cheated on a past boyfriend to see if the thrill would make me feel any different, it didn’t.

I am in love, I am in a stable relationship and I have never been brave enough to tell him I hate sex. Which thinking about it is a good thing and a bad thing. Bad because I’ve been  lying to my partner for nearly 8 years… good because I still make sex a thing, because I know it’s normal and my boyfriend expects it, so over time I have (slowly) learnt that the joy of sex doesn’t have to be about me and my pleasure it is seeing someone I love and care for so deeply feel one hundred percent relaxed and yet vulnerable but so trusting. Sex is special, it is not lust, it is not pleasure, it is special.

Why do I have such issues with sex? Well because I can’t relax and make myself lose all inhibitions because my first sexual experiences have ruined it for me.

I’m 15 and in a relationship with a boy who terrifies me, I was pretty much threatened and bullied into the relationship. This boy was mean and hurt me often; He slammed my fingers in doors, punched me in my chest or repeatedly nipped my skin if I did anything he didn’t approve of. He tested my emotional strength, he’d ask me questions and gave me scenarios that I was uncomfortable with and he’d demand answers and if I didn’t answer how he wanted he’d hurt me or if I lied he’d hurt me. He never hurt me enough for people to notice but he hurt me enough to break me. I was too afraid to tell him I wanted to end the relationship but eventually he got bored of me and broke up with me because he wanted to ask another girl out. I was then 17. He got mad because I didn’t cry … but he eventually left.

It’s my 16th birthday, my friends have arranged a fancy dress picnic in the field behind my house. I am sat in my bedroom with Rainbow knee socks, bright blue shorts, a bright pink top and pink fairy wings and my wand at the ready. I am waiting for the boy to arrive to walk me to meet our mutual friends. We were late meeting them.

There is something about a boy that can scare you into anything, something about a boy who thinks every 16th birthday should be about sex, something about a boy that doesn’t take no for an answer. As far as rape goes, it could have been far worse and far more terrifying… it could have been a stranger in a place I don’t know, but it wasn’t, it was my boyfriend in my child hood bedroom with my parents downstairs. He roughly kissed me and held me close as he manoeuvred me onto the bed in a way I couldn’t fight to get up, he pinned me down and said ‘this is your birthday present’ and moved my shorts to one side. No matter how many times I said no it happened anyway, I didn’t scream, shout or cry I just laid there numb and waited for it to end and I spent the next year telling myself I couldn’t do a damn thing about it because he came with a label of ‘boyfriend’ and it wasn’t really rape because I didn’t fight hard enough. Sex for the rest of the relationship was him putting on the moves, me saying no but laying there numb anyway until he finished, I was too afraid to fight him.  Thankfully due to hormonal issues my period was a pain to monitor so I was on the pill to help regulate myself otherwise my life story could have been completely different.

I am 4. I am too young to know any better, too young to stand up for myself, too vulnerable, too weak.

I have a brother who is 4 years older than me and at 8 you’d think he wouldn’t know about such things as girls and how things work. Oh he knew. He once found a stash of dads dirty magazines and snuck them into my room we sat there and laughed at the pictures for a while until my brother decided he best put them back where he found them before our parents came upstairs or home from work. That’s where it all started, we’d laugh at the ladies ‘balloons’ until brother put the magazines back. Then he’d come back in my room and tell me it was ‘OK’ and assure me it was normal but it had to be ‘our secret’ then he’d touch me. He’d use fingers or tongue to explore my body, my young, fragile body, he used to rub his penis along my bottom. I hated it but its OK, he said it was normal.

This carried on for 5 years and not once did I speak out. Why? I’m not sure, I don’t remember. I think I’ve blocked a lot of the thoughts and feelings out to know for sure. I had no one I dared tell, that’s all I remember feeling… alone.

Now as an adult I hate oral sex to the point that I point blank refuse to receive it. I get panicky and angry if people touch my bum (even my current boyfriend). I get no sexual pleasure from sex. I still don’t wear short shorts and if I wear a skirt or dress there’s always leggings or tights underneath. I have zero libido and zero body confidence. I have a constant fear my partner will leave me because I can’t satisfy him enough or give him enough attention. I have regular panic inducing flash backs even now at 29.

Work

In my life time I’ve had a lot of jobs… too many to put on a resume/CV without looking like I get easily bored, have no career goals or aspirations or no job loyalty. Thing is, I do have goals and aspirations, and I do have job loyalty.

1st job: Waitress. I was 16, I was a bridesmaid at the then boyfriends wedding… they told me I couldn’t have the time off. I was not a bridesmaid, thankfully the family was OK with it! I through in the towel when I had to attend a funeral … and again I was not aloud the time off, despite not using any of my holiday allowance. I just didn’t turn up to work again.

2nd job: Bar maid. Not exactly a job to pay the bills and dedicate the rest of my working life to, there’s no growth there.  Pull a pint ‘NEXT!’ Okay maybe not quite like that, I was a very good bar maid and all the regulars loved me!

3rd job: Call center, call handler later to be promoted to team leader. 18 and ready to throw myself into a job that I could grow in, progress through and come out somewhere near the top. I was on my way, one year in and I was promoted to team leader. Thing is… I hated that place, I hated the job, and I hated most (not all) of the customers. Daily I was asked if I was stupid, threatened, shouted at, screamed at on occasion. Accident management, you’ve been in a car accident and you rang us, honestly believing you were calling your insurance, you weren’t you were calling ambulance chasing solicitors… if you weren’t injured we didn’t give you time of day. I tried to change the customer journey, I tried to change the way we prioritized but I was brushed aside. The 3rd time I’d walked into the bathroom, cried in a stall and assessed how strong the beams above me where, was the time I realized that this place would kill me, home life wasn’t great, work was my escape… I walked in and said ‘I quit, I will not work my notice, I will not turn up in the morning.’ That was that.

4th job: Bar staff. New bar and new people, it was great but they were only open one night a week… I still fail to see how they made any profit!

5th job: Shop floor assistant for a toy shop. I loved this job, I enjoyed every aspect but the position was only temporary. Christmas in retail is 4 months maximum, and extra hands weren’t needed after January. I’d kept my bar job so I wasn’t entirely jobless… just jobless 6 days a week!

6th job: Part time dog groomer. I actually got really good at this job quick, I’d be trimming and styling dogs, bathing and blow drying and cleaning up. My boss Lauren was fantastic and taught me everything, however her boss wasn’t particularly forth coming with wages, if he remembered to pay you it wasn’t even minimum wage. I stayed until I got approved for an apprenticeship.

7th Job: Nursery play assistant. Now this job was lovely, I got to play all day whilst teaching small children, I got to watch kids grow, progress and shine, formed friendships, supported families and cared. The guy who owned the place confused me… some days he liked me, some days he hated me and others he loved me far too much. The days he liked me were just a smile and a well done at the end of the day, the days he hated me he’d find something… anything to shout at me for, ‘you let the children sit on your knee too much STOP IT!’ so I’d ask how to handle the situation, how to let a child down gently and say no go play elsewhere. (I was there to learn, I was there to gain qualifications in childcare) To my questioning I’d get a shout of ‘JUST DON’T DO IT!’ and then he’d storm off, and many other such scenarios. The days he loved me… well he’d text me inappropriately, he’d wink at me in the hallways, he’d sit me in his office all day with the aspect of going through tips and techniques of childcare… only to feel like I was on the most awkward date and no work would be discussed. I broke one day, called in sick and never went in again, cancelled my apprenticeship, my college course.

8th Job: columnist for an online magazine. I liked this job A LOT, but the magazine wasn’t run very well and didn’t gain that much of an audience and so was scrapped.

9th Job: Office manager… still here today and they don’t know my entire career history… far from. They know enough to know I can do this job and I can do it well. Will I stay here, if a pay rise comes then yes… if not, then probably not, I’m getting payed half as much as any one else doing what I do in an office.